Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Written by:
Matthew Walker
Narrated by:
Steve West

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2017
13 hours 51 minutes
“Why We Sleep is an important and fascinating book…Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.” —Bill Gates

A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” (Financial Times) is a fascinating dive into the purpose and power of slumber.

With two appearances on CBS This Morning and Fresh Air's most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive.

Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.

In this “compelling and utterly convincing” (The Sunday Times) book, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, slow the effects of aging, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night’s sleep every night.

Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book. Written with the precision of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Sherwin Nuland, it is “recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense” (The New York Times Book Review).
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Lorraine C

This book is a must read. If you really listen to the message, you have to change your habits to get 8 hours of sleep. Or else die, or get Altzheimers, or get heart disease, or lose your mind or (name another disease). I gave it five because we all need to hear the message and the data, SLEEP MORE OR ELSE, but the oral read can be tedious. The narrator is the same voice as those British guys who do the hypnosis tapes on YouTube. You just zone out after 3 minutes of listening between the relentless delivery of data and the monotone, calm voice. Too bad because there are tons of tongue in cheek jokes throughout the book that with the right inflection could have given the read more vibrancy. I kept thinking I should just buy the book, especially since there are tons of charts, graphs and diagrams that he refers to during the read. You can get them emailed to you if you download it. Just send an email to Audiobooks and they'll forward it to you. I still highly recommend this book though! It's a life changer!

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Michael H

A lot of great research data to support premise. Gives fascinating perspective on role of sleep in human life and its importance. Anyone interested in how the brain works will like this book.

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Sky B.

If you read one book in your life, read this. If I could give it more stars, I would.

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Peter B.

A wonderful book and a great narrator. I recommend this book to everyone, especially those that have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Having listened to this, I appreciate the importance of sleep far better and will use the author’s suggestions to sleep better. Just the sound of the narrator’s voice makes me sleepy!

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Ted E.

a fascinating listen. Well documented. If you even think you have sleep issues, this book is a must! A side note: there were a couple of homophobic snide remarks that shocked me and made me realise the author is a wee out of synch with modern LGBT awareness.

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Vasilije S.

If you are to read one book on sleep- this shoud be it!

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Kate T.

Great info, loved the science. But this book was not as actionable as some on the topic, which was disappointing. I’m still looking for a book that tells me exactly what to do as someone who works 9-5 plus 2-3 overnights per week.

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Dietmar B.

Easily one of the best , if not the best book I have ever read. This is what science is all about. Unless you are very dense, this will change you.

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Very informative and eye-opening.

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John H.

I enjoyed this book immensely; it\'s a life changer. This book covers a lot of territory in the rhelm of sleep, from our beginnings in the womb, to our last breath. I plan to review this. book frequently to remind me of the critical importance of good sleep. The narration is excellent: clear with a pleasant tempo.

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Rico S.

Absolutely mind-blowing... The story of the brain, mind and sleep - and why it's detrimental in our lives and should be prioritised far higher than most people realise (my self included). It's an eye-opener and life-changer... I will listen to this book again - but next time logging 8 hours of sleep regularly. And through Audiobooks I will request the charts and attachments that are referred to in the different chapters of the book.

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Evan P.

This is a very informative book about the necessity and benefits of a healthy sleeping routine as well as the consequences of neglecting to get adequate sleep. It is simple enough for us non-scientific minds to understand, yet it is also filled with overwhelming scientific evidence to support the arguments. There are also plenty of practical tips and recommendations for improving sleep. The narrator has a charming British accent, but it can be a bit dull at times. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to improve their health and increase their knowledge on this topic.

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Chris Dezell

The call out for a societal change for sleep was very appealing.

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Absolutely excellent! Literally the most important book I've ever read!

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Susan W.

Fascinating! I have already applied several recommended principles as presented in the book with positive results. Truly thankful for the information- highly recommended!!

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Great book for everyone's taste, fully reommended.

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Everyone should listen to this book!

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